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5 Problems Even Middle Income Millennials Are Facing

5 Problems Even Middle Income Millennials Are Facing

Who is the millennial? The world knows the millennials as being those young kids aged 20-30, who are now in college or trying to build their post-college lives. And the major feature that defines millennials is the fact they are broke! Like really broke, because they are drowning in student debt and unemployment.

However, there are a bunch of lucky millennials who did manage to stay on top of their finances and are now proud to be cast as middle income persons. They are the people the rest of the millennials are looking at with envy on social media, thinking how lucky they are. But are they really lucky?

1. Healthcare is still a major luxury

The Affordable Care Act was created to make healthcare affordable for everyone, but it ended up to be a huge fail. For millennials who earn more than the typical broke millennial, healthcare is one of the biggest luxuries out there.

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When you have a middle class income you don’t qualify for government subsidies, but you can’t afford to pay for healthcare either. This comes with a lot of other big problems, so there is no wonder many middle income millennials choose to pay the annual fine and take up the risk of not having any healthcare plan.

2. Kids? You can’t afford them!

When you are stuck between living an eternal financial adolescence and earning enough to afford your own place, kids are a delicate subject. The first requirement for having kids is to have a family, then, to afford the child.

Though only a few people would actually acknowledge it, a newborn costs pretty much, with the expenses growing as the child grows. Add the costs of the pregnancy and delivery, as well as general healthcare for the mother and the baby – and take a look at the previous point when it comes to healthcare – and then consider the unpaid maternity leave.

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All these requirements can’t be met, not even by middle-income millennials. As a result, they are the generation whose choice of having kids is not theirs to take.

3. Owning your own place is (still) impossible

If you do have a job and an income, one would believe you can buy your own house. Well, bad news: middle-income is not enough to buy a house. Or rent one, for a matter of fact.

The reality is that cities with a low cost of living are overwhelmed by people, which increases the cost of living. Moreover, where the good jobs are is where the highest rents can be found.

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Another problem which makes moving out from parents impossible is the way real estate developers are working. They are usually building low income houses in places where there are very low paying jobs or building luxury homes with million dollars price tags. There is no middle ground for your middle income, so you are left with no choices.

4. College can’t be avoided

There were times when students were leaving college with a degree in their hand and endless career opportunities. But those are long gone. Nowadays, college is just a formality. Having a degree means nothing, but not having it is even worse, because you won’t be able to apply for a decent job without it.

If our parents were able to pay their college tuition by working a summer job, now we have to pay the huge student debt from what we earn. This significantly diminishes a middle-income, impairing the person and preventing him or her from establishing a family and moving on.

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5. Retirement is a distant dream

The 9 to 5 job is now more of a 24/7 job, with small pauses, but the real problem seems to be the lack of retirement time. Regardless how much you earn, you will have to work an entire week well into your 60s, in order to pay for your debts, rent and make a living. Depending on what happens in your life, you might find yourself working after the retirement age.

With all these problems, there is no wonder most millennials choose to have a pet over a kid and still live with their parents instead of renting a cosmopolitan loft.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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